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graygirl5271

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New to Area, Does anyone have school suggestions
« on: July 15, 2007, 01:54:15 PM »

Hello everyone,

My family is new to the area.  I have two daughters entering 6th and 7th grade.
Does anyone have school recommendations?  What are good schools, and what schools should we avoid and why?

Thanks  :)
 
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Paula Wethington

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Re: New to Area, Does anyone have school suggestions
« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2007, 03:03:11 PM »

Monroe County has a lot of options for K-12 education. I'm sure you'll find a school that works for your family. Here are some questions that will help with recommendations:

What school district do you live in?

Will you use school bus transportation if it is available, or do you plan to drive the kids back and forth to school every day (and how far are you willing to drive)?

What sports or extracurricular activities do your girls want to participate in at school?

Does a big school or a small school better fit their needs?

Are there any special requests to consider, such as access to gifted/talented program on campus or private school through a particular religion?
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sullivan

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Re: New to Area, Does anyone have school suggestions
« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2007, 03:18:26 PM »

I have found that the schools in Monroe County have as a rule taken an adversarial position in empowering Both Parents to be involved parents in something as vital as a child's education.

Unfortunately we live in a throw away society that has caused a prevalence of divorced or split relationship of a child's parents.On top of that fact is the little known fact that most school officials ONLY ACKNOWLEDGE  the parent that has physical custody of the child and violate state and federal laws that prohibit them from denying the release of a child's school records to BOTH PARENTS.

 Every student handbook should cite the Child Custody Act of 1970 and also FERPA federal guidelines regarding this issue.

 I was denied access by Bedford High School authorities to participate in a parent teacher conference last fall , so obviously I would never recommend that school to anyone wishing what is best for their child.
 
I know a lot of the Monroe Public schools have the same attitude toward non-custodial parents and are only concerned with issues that relate directly to their pocketbooks as witnessed by our community in closing a vital school ( Cantrick ) instead of cutting over staffed administation from the top. It seems the schools are having a diffucult time meeting their financial needs with the in excess of $8,000 per student of tax revenue they receive.They have historically cried poverty and been given their increases in a" good economy" without question.Now that everyone is asked to "adjust" to a changing economic environment , the school officials pander to the politicians and appeal to the parents ( the same parents they have failed with their lack of  properly teaching our children basic education skills and also scorned because some of us are not custodial parents ) .

Your children are not old enough to go to Catholic Central , but the overall success of that school in every area is a ENDORSEMENT  for parochial school education .We also have 2 charter schools in the county : Bedford Academy & Triumph Academy which are a welcome alternative to a failing public school leadership that just doesn't seem to "get it" regarding being public servants and all that entails regarding accountability , responsibility and complying with the laws meant to protect us all.

This probably is more of an answer then what you wanted but cutting to the chase: The public schools in our county are all negligent in prioritizing what parents and their children need . If you have to go to a public school option, the smaller the school district the better and YOU are the one that can make a difference in your children's education process by being INVOLVED ( if you are allowed that right which as mentioned before is violated daily---after they spend YOUR tax dollars.
 J. Pat Mc Elligott      
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graygirl5271

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Re: New to Area, Does anyone have school suggestions
« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2007, 04:02:22 PM »

Monroe County has a lot of options for K-12 education. I'm sure you'll find a school that works for your family. Here are some questions that will help with recommendations:

What school district do you live in?

Will you use school bus transportation if it is available, or do you plan to drive the kids back and forth to school every day (and how far are you willing to drive)?

What sports or extracurricular activities do your girls want to participate in at school?

Does a big school or a small school better fit their needs?

Are there any special requests to consider, such as access to gifted/talented program on campus or private school through a particular religion?



Thanks for your response.   :)   We are in the Monroe district.  (Just moved).  The arts are important to our daughters--They are both good at drawing and music.  One is in band.  The other likes to sing. They are also interested in soccer and swimming.
My concern is like most parents, that they get a good education, have these opportunites available to them, and be in a school where we as parents can be involved.  I'm concerned about putting them in school that turns out to be socially tough where they don't get teacher support and where parental involvement is limited.   It might be possible that we could put them in private education such as a catholic school.  Currently, Triumph has a waiting list so that doesn't look like an option for us.  My older daughter hopes to not wear a uniform anyway, and as long as the education is good I'd like to give her that option.   My hope would be that Monroe's public education would be good as money is tight.    I am a little worried about the Monroe Public School system I have read a few comments elsewhere from parents who are disgruntled with the schools, so I am trying to get a feel for this from a variety of people's experiences.   It sounds like my oldest would go to Monroe Middle School.
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graygirl5271

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Re: New to Area, Does anyone have school suggestions
« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2007, 04:07:28 PM »

I have found that the schools in Monroe County have as a rule taken an adversarial position in empowering Both Parents to be involved parents in something as vital as a child's education.

Unfortunately we live in a throw away society that has caused a prevalence of divorced or split relationship of a child's parents.On top of that fact is the little known fact that most school officials ONLY ACKNOWLEDGE  the parent that has physical custody of the child and violate state and federal laws that prohibit them from denying the release of a child's school records to BOTH PARENTS.

 Every student handbook should cite the Child Custody Act of 1970 and also FERPA federal guidelines regarding this issue.

 I was denied access by Bedford High School authorities to participate in a parent teacher conference last fall , so obviously I would never recommend that school to anyone wishing what is best for their child.
 
I know a lot of the Monroe Public schools have the same attitude toward non-custodial parents and are only concerned with issues that relate directly to their pocketbooks as witnessed by our community in closing a vital school ( Cantrick ) instead of cutting over staffed administation from the top. It seems the schools are having a diffucult time meeting their financial needs with the in excess of $8,000 per student of tax revenue they receive.They have historically cried poverty and been given their increases in a" good economy" without question.Now that everyone is asked to "adjust" to a changing economic environment , the school officials pander to the politicians and appeal to the parents ( the same parents they have failed with their lack of  properly teaching our children basic education skills and also scorned because some of us are not custodial parents ) .

Your children are not old enough to go to Catholic Central , but the overall success of that school in every area is a ENDORSEMENT  for parochial school education .We also have 2 charter schools in the county : Bedford Academy & Triumph Academy which are a welcome alternative to a failing public school leadership that just doesn't seem to "get it" regarding being public servants and all that entails regarding accountability , responsibility and complying with the laws meant to protect us all.

This probably is more of an answer then what you wanted but cutting to the chase: The public schools in our county are all negligent in prioritizing what parents and their children need . If you have to go to a public school option, the smaller the school district the better and YOU are the one that can make a difference in your children's education process by being INVOLVED ( if you are allowed that right which as mentioned before is violated daily---after they spend YOUR tax dollars.
 J. Pat Mc Elligott      

Thanks for your reply Sullivan.  I know what it is like to be sharing legal and physical custody and have your child's school not abide by this.  It can be very frustrating especially if one parent is trying to bar the other parent from involvement.
I have heard from several people that Catholic Central is a great school.  If anyone could suggest which is the best Catholic elementary/ middle school I'd love to hear it.
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lawgirlMI

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Re: New to Area, Does anyone have school suggestions
« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2007, 04:39:25 PM »

Avoid Triumph.  The waiting list is not an indication of getting a good education.

I highly recommend Jefferson Schools in Newport.
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the nosh

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Re: New to Area, Does anyone have school suggestions
« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2007, 04:52:55 PM »

st michaels, st marys or st johns...any would be fine.
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Crysti

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Re: New to Area, Does anyone have school suggestions
« Reply #7 on: July 15, 2007, 05:24:17 PM »

In agreement with the nosh, the parochial schools are probably the best. Monroe Public is falling on hard times now. I'd wait that out and enroll them in a solid school system at least for now.
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LakeErieLady

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Re: New to Area, Does anyone have school suggestions
« Reply #8 on: July 15, 2007, 05:52:18 PM »

I would also check out Trinity Lutheran School on Third and Scot Streets in downtown Monroe.  They have an excellent reputation, and for a small school, turn out some of the top athletes in the region.  They are also heavily into music.
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Greg Chamberlain

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Re: New to Area, Does anyone have school suggestions
« Reply #9 on: July 15, 2007, 08:37:56 PM »

Yeah. I expected the local parochial group to come out with their three cents. Just keep in mind the public schools in Monroe County are very good and you are going to find a lot of people who will try to scare you into getting your kids into the parochial schools.
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sullivan

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Re: New to Area, Does anyone have school suggestions
« Reply #10 on: July 15, 2007, 08:42:06 PM »

Graygirl,

You are looking for a school in the Monroe district for a sixth and seventh grader who like music, band, and drawing.

There are good schools in Monroe, both public and parochial. Look at all these nice houses in Monroe, they don't all go to parochial schools. Most of the parochial teachers I know are trying to get into the public schools.

It sounds like you are not in the market for parochial at this time.

That leaves it to public. I would not recommend the charter school. There are, I think nine elementary schools in Monroe(Manor, Raisinville, Christiancy, Hollywood, Townsite, Riverside, Waterloo, Lincoln, and Custer. Which elementary district do you live in and then you can receive some responses. All the schools are a little different.

There is currently one middle school and one high school for future consideration. In regards to music, band, art, and drama, Monroe High is excellent. There are many students who go to parochial elementary who come to Monroe for the music, band, drama, and arts programs. 

I think I gave you some fair information and I hope it helps.




You need to give someone reasons for stating you would not suggest a charter school because if someone really digs to see the performance and controversy that relates to the public school system in Monroe County and adjoining areas ---that alone will tip the scales in favor of charter schools.

 Charter schools are in existence because of the FAILURE of the public school system!!! Unlike parochial schools that are funded by tuition , the charter schools are funded just as the public schools are , by student count . That means the $8,000 plus allowance coming from the tax payer coffers is being received by the charter school not the public school.

You indicate to look around at all of the nice houses , I say go a step farther--look at how much the property tax payers of Michigan are paying for inferior education and unruly behavior because the public schools are being POLITICALLY CORRECT.

 You are right that many parochial; school teachers are trying to get into the public sector but it is because of money and tenure and lack of having to be accountable to parents and a stricter set of principals that motivates inferior teachers to exodus a superior system.

There are many many EXCELLENT teachers within our public schools but they are being over shadowed by administrative staff  & unions on a national ,state and local level that have shown time and again that they are more concerned with their health and welfare more then they  are the admirable quality of being teachers ( isn't that what we hired them to do?? )

Charter and parochial schools get my vote hands down with public schools being a distant last ( just as the records show us regarding their  performance in education ).

If the parochial schools ever get (vouchers) then you will see how others feel about our public schools!!! The public schools need to start looking in the mirror instead of making excuses, in Michigan the party is over!!  
 J. Pat Mc Elligott  
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DeamonCohln

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Re: New to Area, Does anyone have school suggestions
« Reply #11 on: July 15, 2007, 11:10:59 PM »



You need to give someone reasons for stating you would not suggest a charter school because if someone really digs to see the performance and controversy that relates to the public school system in Monroe County and adjoining areas ---that alone will tip the scales in favor of charter schools.

 Charter schools are in existence because of the FAILURE of the public school system!!! Unlike parochial schools that are funded by tuition , the charter schools are funded just as the public schools are , by student count . That means the $8,000 plus allowance coming from the tax payer coffers is being received by the charter school not the public school.

You indicate to look around at all of the nice houses , I say go a step farther--look at how much the property tax payers of Michigan are paying for inferior education and unruly behavior because the public schools are being POLITICALLY CORRECT.

 You are right that many parochial; school teachers are trying to get into the public sector but it is because of money and tenure and lack of having to be accountable to parents and a stricter set of principals that motivates inferior teachers to exodus a superior system.

There are many many EXCELLENT teachers within our public schools but they are being over shadowed by administrative staff  & unions on a national ,state and local level that have shown time and again that they are more concerned with their health and welfare more then they  are the admirable quality of being teachers ( isn't that what we hired them to do?? )

Charter and parochial schools get my vote hands down with public schools being a distant last ( just as the records show us regarding their  performance in education ).

If the parochial schools ever get (vouchers) then you will see how others feel about our public schools!!! The public schools need to start looking in the mirror instead of making excuses, in Michigan the party is over!!  
 J. Pat Mc Elligott  

I went to a charter school for Middle School [South Arbor Academy] and hated it. The education was good, don't get me wrong, but I came out of that school hating people. It screwed my social skills to no end.
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jos

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Re: New to Area, Does anyone have school suggestions
« Reply #12 on: July 16, 2007, 04:51:53 AM »


I went to a charter school for Middle School [South Arbor Academy] and hated it. The education was good, don't get me wrong, but I came out of that school hating people. It screwed my social skills to no end.


I'm glad you posted this. I have been checking into schools including Triumph (charter school). I have talked to several parents who enrolled their children there and were extremely disapointed. I've heard horror stories from parents an kids about this school. The teachers skills and socialization seems to be major issues and also I've heard that they make promises to advance children in subjects of stength then fail to do so. I've also heard nothing good about the administration. I've never heard of these issues being a severe problem in other schools in the area.

I've heard good and bad about Jefferson but not the same kind of problems.

This is just what I've heard but parent and student input means a lot to me. Not just test scores. It's very important to have good social skills in life.

Hearing this from other people, I'm curious as to what your charter school did to effect your social skills in such a negative way.
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ResidentFrenchtown

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Re: New to Area, Does anyone have school suggestions
« Reply #13 on: July 16, 2007, 07:13:40 AM »

I had two children go through school and graduate from Jefferson - both have very successful careers and are happy with their education.  The important thing is that as a parent you want to be involved in your child's future and that you're active in finding the right fit for both you and your children - so it looks like you've got that piece of the puzzle inhand.  Even though it's summer, I would suggest making appointments to meet the principals, check out the curriculum, find out what the average class size is in your child's grade, look at the services offered (counselors, librarians, technology, etc.) and tour the buildings with your children. Do your own comparison, I'll bet your children would love making up a family report card for each school.  Establishing communication is vital and your children will feel more comfortable if they are part of the choice and understand why it was made.  There are going to be success stories (and horror stories) about every school, but a visit to the buildings will give you first hand knowledge about whether the school's educational goals match the ones you have for your children and if your children will feel comfortable in the school. Good luck and keep us posted about your choice.
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Ladybug

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Re: New to Area, Does anyone have school suggestions
« Reply #14 on: July 16, 2007, 10:08:23 AM »

I can highly recommend the Dundee Community Schools.  I have 4 children the oldest of which graduated from Dundee two years ago.  My three youngest are entering 4th, 5th and 7th in the fall.  As you can see we can speak for elementary, middle and high school.  Dundee is a smallish district so your girls won't feel overwhelmed by the size of the building or student body. 

You mentioned that your young ladies enjoy art and music.  Mrs. Seeburger, the art teacher is OUTSTANDING.  She is extremely dedicated and knowledgeable - not to mention great with the kids.  I've not had any experience (yet) with the middle school band teacher but my 5th grader is considering the trumpet so I'll find out soon!   

As far as the teachers I have only good things to say. Middle school can be a tricky time with grades for some as other interests become more important to the pre-teens but I have found that the teachers do a pretty darn good job of keeping the kids on task and preparing them for the next grade.  They have many really fun projects that are completed in and out of school.  The office staff is also wonderful and extremely helpful.  We will be getting a new principal in the middle school as ours recently took a position with another district.

Dundee is not perfect but overall we've been very happy - Hope this helps you!   
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